US Marine Corps Commander General Robert Neller said on Thursday in Washington, D.C. that the US military must be psychologically prepared for a war with North Korea. Neller said a war on the Korean peninsula would be an extremely bloody affair, but the Marine Corps commandant said of such a hypothetical conflict: “I wasn’t saying it’s going to happen. I hope it doesn’t happen, I don’t want it to happen”.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan came to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday promising to take a harder line on Iran’s ballistic missile program and its regional proxies, and saying he was open to imposing new economic sanctions. His Emirati hosts couldn’t have been happier. “We could have given that exact same speech”, Emirati Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba said. Gulf Arab nations, which view Iran as a regional menace and opposed the 2015 nuclear deal, have welcomed the hard line adopted by the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress. But there are differences lingering beneath the smiles and handshakes, including over Washington’s alliance with Qatar, which is being boycotted by the UAE and three other Arab nations.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has accused BuzzFeed of being a “tool of American intelligence services” after the news organization published an article about suspicious financial transactions involving Russian diplomats.
The media outlet reported this week that U.S. officials had flagged hundreds of suspicious Russian Embassy bank transfers over the past decade. Last November, Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused BuzzFeed of falsely claiming that Russian diplomatic transfers were part of an alleged campaign of interference in the U.S. presidential election. The ministry said that Buzzfeed had accessed and leaked the private banking information of embassy employees to the public, in a strongly worded statement published on its website Thursday. “This is no longer simply a matter of ‘fake news’, but a real crime”, it said in the statement. The ministry called on Washington to bring the alleged leakers to justice, “including those who occupy corresponding positions in the American state apparatus”.
Nabih Berri, during the Conference of Islamic Parliaments in support of Jerusalem in Iran, renewed his appeal for the transfer of the Islamic embassies from Washington and for the boycott to the administration of President Donald Trump until the latter cancels the controversial recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He also called for the closure of all Israeli embassies in Arab and Islamic capitals and the annulment of the Oslo peace accords, which form the basis of relations between Palestinians and Israel Negotiations for a peace process in the words of Berri they should remain firm until there is a clear announcement that blocks the settlement process.
US Ambassador to Algiers, John Desrocher, delivered a speech on Monday, January 15 at the Diplomatic Institute and International Relations (IDRI), in which he returned to the Algerian-American prospects for the cooperation between the two countries.
“I have the impression that Algeria – its people, its culture, its history – is not well understood in the United States. I would like to try to start changing that. We also want to share America with you, “he said. He clarified Washington’s priorities in his future cooperation with Algiers. “First, we will work to strengthen our bilateral security cooperation to fight terrorism and promote regional stability. Secondly, we want to develop bilateral trade and investment. Finally, we will continue to work with our Algerian partners to foster links between the two peoples and dialogue on topics covering our entire relationship. Of course, diplomatic, political and economic issues are essential, but we also hope to expand our relations in the cultural and educational fields, “he said.
Relations between Moscow and Washington have entered a period reminiscent of the Cold War era, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday, addressing a meeting of the Russian Public Council for International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy dubbed Russia and the US: Problems and Prospects for the Development of Bilateral Relations. “We [Russia and the US] have probably entered a period, which is in many ways reminiscent of the Cold War era”, the senior Russian diplomat said. “The level of negative attitude towards Russia and the deliberate spread of anti-Russian sentiment, particularly in the media, causes concern”, he added. “It is like a tsunami wave that has swept across America, and we need to figure out how it happened that these ideas managed to penetrated US society so deeply,” the Russian deputy foreign minister pointed out. “All the opinion polls show similar results on this matter, but, frankly speaking, not many polls have been conducted”, Ryabkov added.
Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, said at the conferences for Balkans organized in Washington by the Atlantic Council, that dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia should move to a final phase and the full normalisation of relations. Hoxhaj said this could be reached in two years and that this agreement would require the support of the international community, especially of the European Union and the United States of America. Hoxhaj further argued that internal dialogue on Kosovo in Serbia initiated by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. He added that Serbia’s campaigns against Kosovo affect the process of dialogue, reached agreements and the agreements that should be reached in the final phase. He said there is no reason for Kosovo to continue with dialogue if it does not become a member of the United Nations and if mutual recognition with Serbia is not reached.
The Palestinians threatened on Saturday to suspend all communication with the United States if the Trump administration follows through with plans to close their diplomatic office in Washington. The potential rupture in relations threatens to undermine President Donald Trump’s bid for Mideast peace: a mission he has handed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the U.S. decision was “very unfortunate and unacceptable,” and accused Washington of bowing to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government “at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal”. The administration announced late Friday that the Palestinians had run afoul of a legal provision that says the Palestine Liberation Organization cannot operate a Washington office if the Palestinians try to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson determined that the Palestinians crossed that line in September, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the court to investigate and prosecute Israelis, according to State Department officials.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci who is staying in Washington, during an interview with the Voice of America commented on the Agreement on border demarcation with Montenegro, signed by him in 2015 in his capacity as foreign Minister of Kosovo. Current version of the Agreement is being disputed by newly elected prime minister Ramush Haradinaj. Ratification of the border Agreement is one of the last criteria for Kosovo to get visa liberalisation with the EU. Thaci also said how it is in the interest of both countries, and the region, as well as for the EU to have peace between Kosovo and Serbia. Peace between Kosovo and Serbia means stability in the region.